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There are a lot of options available when choosing convertible car seats and all-in-ones. Certain brands top parents’ lists for safety and comfort, and there’s good reason that they lead the industry. In this guide to noteworthy new releases and the highest-rated brands in convertible car seats, you’ll find convertible car seats with load legs, the best car seats for hot weather, and more.
- Purchase your convertible car seat no later than your child’s first birthday, according to Consumer Reports.
- A convertible car seat can be installed forward-facing or rear-facing, but experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend you keep it rear-facing for safety as long as possible. Some states require rear-facing until your child’s second birthday.
- You can use a convertible car seat from birth, or you can start with an infant car seat and then switch to a convertible before your child’s first birthday. An infant car seat lets you remove the seat from the base and move between the car, stroller and other locations without waking a sleeping baby. But it is an additional expense.
- Some convertible car seats are marketed as all-in-ones, 5-in-1s, 4-in-1s or 3-in-1s, meaning they convert from an infant seat into a convertible car seat and then a booster seat, extending the time you can use them.
Diono Radian 3QXT+$500 BUY NOW
The latest addition to Diono’s 3-across Radian family is the all-new Radian® 3QXT+. The all-new 2-in-1 anti-rebound panel is expertly engineered to support rear-facing for longer, and offers optimized comfort and support when forward-facing, complete with memory foam cushioned comfort liner. A favorite brand for many families, you can't go wrong with any Diono car seats, really.
Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational All-In-One Car Seat$380 BUY NOW
Our mom tester loved that this clever car seat rotates 360 degrees (with a simple lift tab mechanism) to make it easier to get your child in and out of the car. No more awkwardly reaching into the car to get your child buckled in, or bonking your baby's head trying to take them out! When it's time to go from rear-facing to forward-facing, just give it a spin; no need to reinstall. A helpful indicator lets you know when the seat is firmly locked into position. It then converts to a booster seat for up to 10 years of use (4-120 pounds). On-the-go recline and 14 headrest settings mean a more comfortable ride for your little one, and two cup holders give you lots of room for cups, snacks or toys. The cup holders are top-rack dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Graco SlimFit3™ LX 3-in-1 Car Seat$260 BUY NOW
Graco's slimmest car seat (16.7 inches wide) lets you fit three seats across the back seat without compromising on safety. This 3-in-1 converts from rear-facing to forward-facing and a high-back booster, accommodating kids 5-100 pounds. Adjust the height of the harness and headrest together in 10 positions for a customized fit; four recline options provide added comfort. The cover can be removed and machine-washed without uninstalling the car seat or removing the harness. The cup holders are also removable for cleaning.
Cybex Sirona S SensorSafe Convertible Car Seat$495 BUY NOW
The Sirona S car seat rotates around 360 degrees. Turn the seat sideways to get your child in and out of it more easily, a big plus for everybody, especially for adults with sore backs or kids with special needs. Kids can sit rear-facing up to age 4, but when it's time to switch from rear-facing to forward-facing, there's no need to reinstall the seat and risk installing it incorrectly. You just spin it around. This car seat comes complete with a load leg to stabilize the seat and reduce crash forces in the event of a collision. The SensorSafe technology in the harness's chest clip alerts you if your child becomes unbuckled while driving, the back seat's temperature gets too hot or other unsafe conditions occur. There's a 12-position headrest and a 12-position recline for maximum comfort.
Chicco Fit4 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat$360 BUY NOW
The Fit4 is an all-in-one car seat designed to suit infants up to big kids, from 4 pounds to 100 pounds. Babies sit in rear-facing comfort thanks to the ergonomic infant positioner, which you then swap out with a toddler-size cushion. Once kids move forward-facing, adjust the 10-position headrest as they grow. When kids are at the booster stage, switch from the harness to the seat belt and add the shoulder pad for extra comfort. And don't worry; the Chicco website has instructional videos and guidelines for when and how to move your car seat to the next stage.
Evenflo EveryFit 4-in-1 Car Convertible Seat$200 BUY NOW
The Evenflo 4-in-1 car seat goes from a rear-facing infant car seat to a high-back booster seat to a no-back booster, keeping your child strapped in safely from 4 pounds to 120 pounds. For convenience and your child's comfort, there's a 12-position headrest, removable cushions with machine-washable fabrics, two integrated cup holders and a removable snack tray. Mesh fabrics keep your child cool on longer rides, and the recline positions (3 for rear-facing, 1 for forward-facing) are designed to minimize the head slump of a sleeping baby.
BRITAX Advocate ClickTight$380 BUY NOW
Britax has several great options for convertible car seats. The Advocate ClickTight comes with an anti-rebound bar, a bar located near your child's feet that provides stability in the event of a collision. As your baby grows, this convertible car seat safely and easily switches from rear-facing to forward-facing.
Cybex Sirona M$290 BUY NOW
Cybex is known for car seat innovations. The Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0 features safety features you won’t find in many other car seats. It syncs with your cell phone to alert you if your child’s chest buckle opens while driving or if you leave the child in the car after you've removed the key. It will also alert you if the backseat gets too hot or cold. The car seat also features a 12-position height-adjustable headrest and adjustable side-impact protection for comfort and added safety.
Nuna RAVA$500 BUY NOW
Highly ranked by Consumer Reports, the RAVA boasts extended rear-facing seating, up to 50 pounds. The car seat also provides up to two more inches of leg room rear-facing, with extra support while forward-riding. It’s known for being easy to install and for its push-button, 10-position recline, as well as its soft fabric.
—Eva Ingvarson Cerise
featured image: Diono